What’s the difference between Perylene Scarlet (PR149) and Perylene Red (PR178)?

Today I’m comparing two colors that are both named Perylene Red, but use different pigments.

DV Perylene Red (PR149) vs. DS Perylene Red (PR178)

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Vancouver Colors Revisted + palette update

The big question in my last palette review was: will I use the “Vancouver colors” Perylene Green, Carbazole Violet, and Quin Burnt Orange? Answer: yes! I found even more uses for them than before, including making a lovely kind of dull violet gray with the violet + green. This is a good color base for … Read more

What’s the difference between Imidazolone Lemon and Imidazolone Yellow?

In this Color Comparison, I’ll compare two similar yellows that I love: Imidazolone Lemon (PY175) and Imidazolone Yellow (PY154). Both are very bold, lightfast yellows that can be used as a primary yellow in a palette. Either one of them, if you showed it to me, I would be like “yup that’s the platonic ideal of yellow,” but next to each other I can see how they are actually kind of different.

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Accepting Drying Shift

Drying shift is the tendency of watercolor paints to become lighter and less vibrant as they dry. This is a bane of my existence, increasing the difficulty of painting with enough value range. You can paint something out that looks high-contrast but have it all dry pale and weak-looking. Why does this happen, and what … Read more

Seven Confusing Things About Paint Names

There are certain conventions or tricks to the ways paints are named that I found confusing, especially when I was starting out. Here are some key points about paint names. Confusing Thing #1: Paint names aren’t standardized. You can get lulled into a false sense of security because some paints look very similar, are made … Read more

What’s in my palette? (May 2024)

You might be unsurprised to note that I have had some last-minute changes of heart about my palette since last time. Partially this is general regrets after overzealously cutting good colors last time, and partially it’s a result of philosophical thoughts after taking a color class with Katie Woodward! Since I’ve run out of time to dither before my move, and have actually given away the colors from the cut pile now, this is going to have to be the “final final final” version… at least I scope out my next art store situation.

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Artist Palette Profiles: Katie Woodward

Katie Woodward (@ramblingsketcher) is a New York City watercolor artist who authored Understanding Light in the Urban Sketchers Handbook series. She also does one of my favorite Instagram video series, Random Palette Mondays, where she draws three random colors (one from a “red” bag, one from a “yellow” bag, and one from a “blue” bag, but interpreted loosely) and paints a pre-selected scene from the resulting triad. It’s a great series because she shows how a wide variety of triads can be used to create unexpected results.

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I’m getting out of the gouache game

I like gouache and I’m glad I tried it. If I weren’t currently attempting to fit all my possessions into a few suitcases I’d probably keep my gouache supplies – at least for awhile longer. Ultimately, though, I think I’d still be on the path to switching back to watercolor-only at some point. In raising the bar for what I’ll keep, I realized that watercolor makes the grade for me, and gouache does not.

Here’s why.

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